Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife - Page 5 - Talk About Marriage
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post #61 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 01:15 AM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

Just about anyone here would have told me to divorce akinaura early on in our marriage. I am certain I would have heard the same line about them not changing.

Truth is, people typically only change as a response to a change in their environment. Jonny, YOU are a part of your wife's environment. There is a lot of things you can do.

9ne of the first things I would do, if I were you, is get a VAR and record her verbal abuse. Pull it out and tell her is is there so that you can have an accurate record of who said what. Because you can't always remember or something.

This will do two things. One, it will catch her verbal abuse on record, so that if she tries to spin things around on you or twist your words, YOU will know what was actually said. And how it was said. More importantly, anyone you show it to will see the truth. This is important if you decide to do marriage counseling.

In our case, I recorded aki several times. I told her that if we cannot work things out between us and be satisfied with our solutions to our own problems, then I would be bringing those recordings to a marriage counselor so that they have an accurate picture of what they are dealing with.

Aki was not proud of those outbursts, she hated it. But she didn't know how to self sooth or regulate her emotions. So, if she was going to talk to me, she had to either accept that other people would see HOW she talked to me, or she would have to change the way she talked to me.

Because of her past exoeriences, she was constantly on guard for the day that I would abandon her. Everyone else in her life had done so, and she could not logically find a reason for me to do any different, especially since I started to see the "real" her. She hates herself for her inability to be "normal".

The VAR was there, in part, to give her a reason to make a habit of calming herself down. At first, she would often refuse to talk to me, but she couldn't keep that up for long when she saw me slipping away. Like your wife, she tried to just act like nothing was wrong. She would try to approach me and I would push her back and tell her that I would not "reconcile" until she was willing to hear what I had to say and we come to an agreement that allows me to let it go. At first, that was usually just her acknowledging that she did something wrong. Admitting that she did something "bad" was very difficult for her.

After she made whatever effort I needed in order to let the conflict go, I went right back to the kind of love bombing that she did. I let her know that if she did something "bad" I would put the two of us through this process again, amd so long as she cooperated, we could go back to being "good".

This took a lot of the fear of abandonment away. When she KNEW she could always find a way to "make it right", she triggered a lot less. If she did something particularly nasty, I required something that was more difficult from her. So long as she did it, I was willing to drop it.

That will not work until she believes that it is possible for you to move past it and let it go. Until you reach that point, small consequences work better. Apply them, and then let it go. If she asks if you are "good now" tell her that you aren't, not entirely, but that you are not going to leave her over it.

That opens the doors from one sided consequences to two sided conflict resolution. Anyway, more on this later. I need to get to work.

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post #62 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

The last few days she stopped attempting to love bomb me and has been reclusive and silent, although while I have been polite I have not gone out of my way to talk to her either while I am working through this stuff. So this morning she told me she feels sick and she has cancer again and will die, and this time she is not going to have treatment and will die sooner like a friend of ours did a few years ago and I will be happier etc. I left after a short volley of these comments.

I told her if she thinks she has cancer again then she needs to see doctor and I canít control what she chooses to do in reference to therapy if she did have cancer.

Obviously she doesnít have cancer and if she did she would have no clue without proper tests being done. Is this a sign of BPD abandonment fear or is it more like NPD manipulation, or both? I c an see how it would be hard to diagnose these disorders accurately.

I recently read this list of traits about NPD and I am shocked at how familiar these 8 points are. I see strong similarities in all of them in what I have witnessed over the years. If this is accurate then it makes me rethink how strong the NPD traits are in her. Even the terms at the bottoms are very familiar, I can see similarities in almost all of them.

https://freefromtoxic.com/2015/06/16...ntrol-tactics/

This is really bothering me now, I can see a strong lack of empathy in a lot of cases but is it possible for someone with strong NPD traits to love or do they put on a show of the ability to love? Is it possible for them to have some love for certain things but then no love or empathy for other things? On one side I canít imagine telling someone you are supposed to love the things she has said to me so it makes me feel like she does not love me. Or does it go back to it being a spectrum disorder and someone may have strong NPD traits but not be 100% full blow 0 empathy 0 love NPD?


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Originally Posted by Uptown View Post
You therefore might get more benefit from Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist by Margalis Fjelstad. I suggest going to BigRiver and reading the customer reviews to see if that would be more helpful.

As you already realize, your contribution to the marriage toxicity is your overly strong desire to be needed (for what you can do) -- which far exceeds your desire to be loved for the man you already are. This problem is well covered in the well-known book, Codependent No More by Melody Beattie.
Thanks I will check these out also.

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I tend to favor Fjelstad because -- unlike Beattie -- she doesn't make the unsupported claim that we excessive caregivers all want to control our partners. My experience is that most excessive caregivers just want to be needed and to have a beneficial impact on their partners' lives without wanting to control them and without wanting to keep them dependent.
Good point and I agree with how you feel about it also. Is the idea that someone that is an excessive caregiver is going to be more likely to stay with a BPD/NPD longer?

Another element to staying married almost 20 years is a deep ingrained cultural ďhonorĒ and religious obligation on my part. But the more I learn I donít believe that anyone must put up with any type of abuse long term without it being fixed and the behavior stopping. The sad thing is with these types of strong symptoms fixing it probably wonít be an option.



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Another boundary he enforced was something you've experienced, which is the "flip-flop" as I call it. I did many of the same behaviors as your wife. What my husband did was to enforce a personal space around himself that I wasn't to encroach on. Again, it made me upset he would "seal" himself off like that, but what he was doing was teaching me self-soothing and it made so that after a fight, we both could approach each other relaxed instead of on edge. It was also my husband's way of ensuring the conflict was over and I wasn't blaming him for behavior that was my decision and not his. He wanted me to recognize myself which behavior was out of line, so the next time I could do better at controlling myself.
Thank you both for sharing your experiences of how you have handled this in your marriage.

When you say this (bold above) would this fall under something like an issue or insult that is brought up like a personal insult, you donít allow them to insult you like that and leave the room/conversation?

I like the idea, I think it will be extremely difficult to get anywhere with my wife from my experience but definitely worth working on if there is a chance it will help.

Thatís a great idea about using a voice recorder. I have thought many times I wish I would have recorded certain conversations.

Good tips on conflict resolution. I think one key factor is if both are willing to see what they are doing wrong and then takes steps to fix it. Up to this point she has made no indications at all that anything she has done is wrong and immediately blames me for current issues and brings up issues from 15+ years ago as if it happened yesterday. Maybe this will change if I start to learn how to set and enforce boundaries better and watch how I communicate when issues come up.
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post #63 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 01:53 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

IMO, her whole life is spent searching for ways to get attention and keep people, one after another. It's never about the other person. If something she's doing isn't giving her the attention she needs, the high, she'll seek out something else. Thus the cancer diagnosis. I've watched my friend go through this; it's totally predictable. And sad.
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post #64 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 03:18 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

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Originally Posted by As'laDain View Post
Sounds a lot like me and my wife.
Not to me, Asla. Jon is describing a toxic marriage that sounds much different from that described by you and your W, Akinaura. I will mention three differences that seem particularly striking.

One difference is that, whereas Jon is describing a W who is very controlling (to prevent him from being too close or too far away), you are describing a W (Akinaura) who loves for you to take control. That is why she likes the Dominant/Submissive (D/S) lifestyle you both describe in your thread, I am My Wife's Dom. You say the D/S role playing extends beyond your sex life into your entire lifestyle together.

As Akinaura explains in that thread (post 17), "I needed him to take control in the exact same way! I hated feeling like I needed to control everything. So I sat him down and explained why I needed the D/S lifestyle." Jon, however, is not describing a W who needs the D/S lifestyle. Rather, he is describing a W who has a great fear of control and engulfment.

A second difference is that, whereas Jon says his W exhibits most of the BPD warning signs, you say your W does not. Specifically, you say "My wife has her own issues, but nothing as irritating as BPD" (4/5/14 post). Your W agrees. She says (11/30/14) that her behavioral issues are not due to BPD but, rather, "due to depression and fibromyalgia." She also says (9/11/14) that she was "diagnosed with GAD w/ Agoraphobia."

A third difference
is that the baggage you brought into the marriage sounds much heavier than what Jon had to carry. Whereas Jon says he had loving and supportive parents, you describe a childhood that was so horrible it is a wonder you managed to survive. Your mother threw knives at you, tried to stab you, and broke a wooden chair over your back. You would survive oftentimes by sleeping on the ground in the woods to be safe from the chance of her going on a midnight rampage. You say (11/22/16) that your mother was diagnosed as having Dissociative Identity Disorder (aka, Multiple Personality Disorder).

The result of that childhood abuse is that you've been "told by many, who know what they are talking about, that I have strong indicators that I am, or at least was, a sociopath" (8/9/16 post). You also say (11/17/16) that 12 years ago "I did have a psychologist tell me I was a sociopath." Another result of the abuse is that you did not learn how to love anyone until you were being pronounced dead. You say, "It wasn't until I heard my own time of death being announced that I realized that I can really love someone, out of choice" (8/9/16 post).
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post #65 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 05:36 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

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Is [her false claim of having cancer] a sign of BPD abandonment fear or is it more like NPD manipulation, or both?
I don't know, Jon. Although you can spot the overall patterns of behavior, you likely will never know for certain whether or not she actually believes some false claims. That ambiguity between lies and projections will be especially strong if she exhibits strong traits of both BPD and NPD. As I said earlier, you likely would drive yourself crazy trying to separate the few lies (narcissistic trait) from the multitude of false projections she believes in (BPD trait).

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This is really bothering me now, I can see a strong lack of empathy in a lot of cases.
There are two types of empathy. One is affective empathy, which is our automatic drive to respond appropriately to another person’s emotions. This kind of empathy happens automatically, and often unconsciously. It occurs only if we are able to feel how the other person is feeling. Whereas narcissists generally lack affective empathy at all times, BPDers typically lack it only when very angry or when splitting a person black. Otherwise, it is common for a BPDer to have a very high level of affective empathy.

The other is cognitive empathy, which is the largely conscious drive to recognize accurately and understand another’s emotional state. It is common for narcissists to have a high level of cognitive empathy at all times because it is a skill they can learn that makes it much easier to manipulate other people. As with affective empathy, BPDers typically do well with it when splitting someone white but badly when splitting that person black.

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Is it possible for someone with strong NPD traits to love or do they put on a show of the ability to love?
By definition, a full-blown narcissist is "Unwilling to empathize with others' feelings, wishes, or needs" and "Needing constant admiration from others." Such a person thus is unable to love. Yet, if a person has strong NPD traits that do not fully satisfy the diagnostic threshold, she may be able to love to some degree -- albeit in the immature way a child (or BPDer) is able to love.

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Does it go back to it being a spectrum disorder and someone may have strong NPD traits but not be 100% full-blown 0 empathy 0 love NPD?
Yes, that is my understanding. Moreover, keep in mind that everyone gets in temporary moods/circumstances where their ability to love or have affective empathy gets very low. What distinguishes a full-blown narcissist, then, is that this condition is persistent for many years -- most likely for a lifetime. It is not the temporary hostility/grumpiness you will see in normal folks when they are laid low by a hormone surge, drug abuse, fatigue, or illness.

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I can’t imagine telling someone you are supposed to love the things she has said to me so it makes me feel like she does not love me.
Sure you can. Simply recall some of the hateful things that came out of your mouth when you were an angry teenager rebelling against your own parents or a sibling. Had the love vanished? No. But your conscious mind was completely out of touch with it during those moments.

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Is the idea that someone that is an excessive caregiver is going to be more likely to stay with a BPD/NPD longer?
Yes. As you and I can attest, we excessive caregivers stay MUCH longer. Generally, BPDer relationships tend to last about 18 months or 12-15 years. They last up to 18 months when the abused partner has strong personal boundaries. In this case, he will enjoy the passionate 6-month courtship period and then will be willing to spend another 6 or 12 months trying to restore his GF to that glorious woman he saw at the beginning. Then he walks.

The R/S lasts 12-15 years for excessive caregivers like you and me. We have enormous affective empathy and very low personal boundaries. Hence, while trying to help our loved one, we become enmeshed to such a great extent that most of us are unable to ever walk away. Instead, the BPDers typically walk away from us after about 12-15 years.

As the years go by, a BPDer's fear of abandonment grows as she sees her body aging. And she becomes increasingly resentful of our inability to rescue her from unhappiness. In my case, I almost certainly would still be married to my BPDer exW if she had not called the police and had me thrown in jail on a bogus charge.

Sadly, even my being tossed in jail and locked out of my home wasn't really sufficient. After I got out of jail and found a new apartment, I STILL would not file for divorce because I simply could not imagine that she would betray me by standing in front of a judge and making false testimony. But, six months later when the case went to trial, she did exactly that. The next day I filed.

Last edited by Uptown; 01-08-2017 at 05:44 PM.
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post #66 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 12:48 AM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

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Not to me, Asla. Jon is describing a toxic marriage that sounds much different from that described by you and your W, Akinaura. I will mention three differences that seem particularly striking.

One difference is that, whereas Jon is describing a W who is very controlling (to prevent him from being too close or too far away), you are describing a W (Akinaura) who loves for you to take control. That is why she likes the Dominant/Submissive (D/S) lifestyle you both describe in your thread, I am My Wife's Dom. You say the D/S role playing extends beyond your sex life into your entire lifestyle together.

As Akinaura explains in that thread (post 17), "I needed him to take control in the exact same way! I hated feeling like I needed to control everything. So I sat him down and explained why I needed the D/S lifestyle." Jon, however, is not describing a W who needs the D/S lifestyle. Rather, he is describing a W who has a great fear of control and engulfment.

A second difference is that, whereas Jon says his W exhibits most of the BPD warning signs, you say your W does not. Specifically, you say "My wife has her own issues, but nothing as irritating as BPD" (4/5/14 post). Your W agrees. She says (11/30/14) that her behavioral issues are not due to BPD but, rather, "due to depression and fibromyalgia." She also says (9/11/14) that she was "diagnosed with GAD w/ Agoraphobia."

A third difference
is that the baggage you brought into the marriage sounds much heavier than what Jon had to carry. Whereas Jon says he had loving and supportive parents, you describe a childhood that was so horrible it is a wonder you managed to survive. Your mother threw knives at you, tried to stab you, and broke a wooden chair over your back. You would survive oftentimes by sleeping on the ground in the woods to be safe from the chance of her going on a midnight rampage. You say (11/22/16) that your mother was diagnosed as having Dissociative Identity Disorder (aka, Multiple Personality Disorder).

The result of that childhood abuse is that you've been "told by many, who know what they are talking about, that I have strong indicators that I am, or at least was, a sociopath" (8/9/16 post). You also say (11/17/16) that 12 years ago "I did have a psychologist tell me I was a sociopath." Another result of the abuse is that you did not learn how to love anyone until you were being pronounced dead. You say, "It wasn't until I heard my own time of death being announced that I realized that I can really love someone, out of choice" (8/9/16 post).
I used to think that BPD was a "all or nothing" kinda thing. Be careful about dismissing my experiences based on how things are now.

Truth is, our marriage was horrible. My wife threw knives at Mr too when we were first married. A lot of people told me I married a younger version of my mother...

I have never gone into the full extent of my wife's past behavior, and I likely never will on these forums. That would invite a lot of pointless criticism of both myself and my wife.

The point though is that my wife displayed every single characteristic of BPD, even self mutilation. Damn near every time I see you post up the BPD traits, its in a thread where someone describes us several years ago. Through time, with motivation, she developed better coping skills and now functions better as an adult.

I have not seen anything on any of these "BPD" threads that I have not had to face in real life, with akinaura. To this day she still fears being abandoned even though she knows logically that I am not likely to leave her, especially now that things are so good. As time goes on, I continue to encourage her to do things that help her to abate that fear.

Jonny and his wife do not sound like my wife and I today. But nobody on these forums, not even those who have met us in person, has any clue how bad it was when we first started. If it weren't for the fact that I'm a little bit insane, I probably would have left her years ago. I did not fear physical abuse, jail time, having my reputation destroyed, etc. It was all a possibility that I accepted.

Nobody would have blamed me for leaving her. I'm glad I didnt. Who she is today is a different person than who she was back then. As am i. The emotions are changing slowly, but fvck emotions. Emotions don't rule either of us anymore.

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post #67 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 02:37 AM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

@Jonny Be Confused
400 to 600 dollars a month for mushrooms? what is she buying, wild collected cordyceps sinensis?

regardless, the cancer thing sounds like her trying to get sympathy, a way to pull you back in so that she can diminish the fear of being abandoned. a plea, "please dont look at my behavior, look at this terrible illness, please love me". of course, if its a false fear, one used to pull you back in, then she will not be able to keep up the charade for long and will resent herself, and in turn you, for it.

she knows she has messed up. if she is pulling away now, so quickly, then your marriage is probably going to end soon, unless you can find a way to change things. at this point, she probably doesn't believe that you could love her, and she knows that trying to push for the relationship is grasping at straws. she knows you are on the way out and she is grabbing at whatever she can to keep you there.

the question you have to ask yourself is if you are willing to try and change your dynamic, or if you would rather just get a divorce and cut your losses. changing requires more work and dedication, because you will have to change the way you do things too. you will have to change the way you act, portray yourself, etc. at times, you will have to act like certain things don't bother you at all when they really do, and at others you will have to act like certain things bother you when they really don't. the goal is to find a way to motivate your wife to act in a more productive way, just the same as you have to in order to deal with her outbursts and verbal abuse.

at times, you will have to use her fear of abandonment, her fear of being exposed, her desires for the passionate reconciliations that BPDers are so well known for, etc. all of it is oriented at getting her to act appropriately regardless of how she feels.

she will likely not believe that you are serious at first because the change will be seemingly out of nowhere. the quickest way to convince her that you ARE serious is to simply do everything you say you will do, and state what you will do often and accurately. for instance, if you are upset with her, tell her that you are upset with her and will not speak to her until you calm down. and that you will check in every 30 minutes to let her know whether you have calmed down or not. or, do the same if SHE is the one who cannot calm down. tell her that you will refuse to speak to her until she calms down, and you will check in every 30 minutes to see if she has.

she will likely do whatever she can to sabotage your efforts at first. for instance, if you tell her that you will check in with her every 30 minutes, she may make herself unavailable. just let her know that you will make one attempt to check in and then you will wait another half hour. after three or four attempts, you will stop trying to engage with her.

the point is, do not give her the option of controlling your actions unless it is on your terms. by all means, give her a way to talk to you again, and give her a way to "make it right" between the two of you, but make sure that it is something that you can actually accept. its her choice to do it or not. YOU cannot afford to go back on your word. if you say you will do something, do it, even if it scares you.

her verbal abuse is causing you to consider leaving her. for that reason, she needs to experience the fear of being abandoned by you EVERY single time she decides to verbally abuse you. that doesnt mean that you actually have to leave her. simply telling her you will leave for an hour and refusing to engage her for said hour will likely be enough to hit on that fear of abandonment. do this a few times and your wife will likely be the one walking off in order to calm down rather than you walking away. that would be a step in the right direction because she would then have to calm herself down, something she apparently doesn't do much.

when i first started up with all this, we would have arguments that often lasted several days, with her going back and forth between trying to love bomb me, act like nothing was wrong, or scream out in anger, throw stuff, etc. i would not tell her we were "good" until she apologized for her behavior. for her to apologize meant that she did something "bad", a hard thing for her to accept at the time because she believed that "bad" people get abandoned. they aren't worth love. only "bad people" do bad things, and if she had done something bad, then she must be a bad person.

i had no hope of getting her to really open up to me until she understood that she could fvck up and i would still love her. she couldn't believe me when i said i still loved her because nobody else in her life had every stuck with her through it. they had all used, abused, and abandoned her at some point.

your wife probably really hates herself, or at least she would, if she could stomach the thought of looking at herself. looking at herself is probably the most terrifying thing she could ever do. if she did, she would see that she does bad things, and would know she is a "bad person". and that means that she is unworthy of love. scary stuff, no?

but that's a fallacy...

anyway, carry a VAR. regardless if you want to stay married or not, carry a VAR. it is a vital tool for both paths. i have recorded more interactions between my wife and i than i care to count. having them prevented her from being able to do the easy thing of rewriting history, and forced her to accept the truth of her own behavior. she is a joy to me, she really is. i couldn't be more proud of her growth and progress...

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post #68 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 02:41 AM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

where did this term "excessive care giver" come from? i find it interesting, since i know so many professionally BPDers that are in CG/l dynamics. many of them have been happily married for years.

care giver is even in the name of the dynamic...

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post #69 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

I read somewhere that BPD traits can be inherited if someone has a parent with BPD. Is that a genetic thing or learned? As far as I know nothing overly traumatic happened to my wife when she was younger, maybe some neglect but I don't think it was sever, or the family could have hidden it form me I guess. What I know about her parents I would say her mom definitely has strong BPD traits and her sisters also.

If it is a learned thing does that make it easier for them to get help dealing with the symptoms?

Is it normal for depression to set in when they think that you are getting serious about whats going? She may actually be sick as in have a cold or flu but she didn't go to the doctor and has been in bed sleeping most of the time since Sunday. Not sure if she just feels sick or if its normal for depression to set in.

I am going to put a lot more effort into setting and enforcing boundaries and I can see the poo is going to hit the fan, but that's ok, something has to change.

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post #70 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 12:23 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

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I read somewhere that BPD traits can be inherited if someone has a parent with BPD. Is that a genetic thing or learned? As far as I know nothing overly traumatic happened to my wife when she was younger, maybe some neglect but I don't think it was sever, or the family could have hidden it form me I guess. What I know about her parents I would say her mom definitely has strong BPD traits and her sisters also.

If it is a learned thing does that make it easier for them to get help dealing with the symptoms?

Is it normal for depression to set in when they think that you are getting serious about whats going? She may actually be sick as in have a cold or flu but she didn't go to the doctor and has been in bed sleeping most of the time since Sunday. Not sure if she just feels sick or if its normal for depression to set in.

I am going to put a lot more effort into setting and enforcing boundaries and I can see the poo is going to hit the fan, but that's ok, something has to change.
i dont think it makes any difference if it is a learned issue or a genetic one. the truth is, everyone is capable of making decisions.

as for depression, i wouldnt be surprised by it. akinaura used to get overwhelmed by depression when she hated herself for her actions. if your wife is thinking "i finally messed up bad enough" then she is probably both hating herself for it and trying to find anything to take her mind off of the fact that she is her own worst enemy.

the depression is part of the reason i started finding ways for akinaura to "make up for it". if she could do something difficult for her to do that i would accept as a just compensation, or apology, then she would be able to believe that it was something we could get passed. being able to do the work to make amends and have us go back to being "good" allowed her to forgive herself and stop kicking herself for being a ****ty person.

in short, it gave her hope. she may have messed up, but there was always a way to "fix it". it also provided her with safety, because instead of getting abandoned, her mistakes would only cause her some discomfort. i would still be there if she wanted me to. she just had to do the work to make amends.

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post #71 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 09:45 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

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Originally Posted by Jonny Be Confused View Post
I read somewhere that BPD traits can be inherited if someone has a parent with BPD. Is that a genetic thing or learned?
Jon, as I noted earlier (post #45), the underlying cause of BPD is still unproven. The current theory is that it is caused partly by genetics and partly by early childhood environment (e.g., an abusive or invalidating mother).

As to the relative importance of these two factors, a number of studies have been done to estimate the role of heritability and environment. Identical twin studies for BPD suggest that the role of heritability explains a bit more than 50% of occurrences and environment explains the remainder. See, e.g., the 2013 JAMA study. This finding suggests BPD is only partly genetic. If it were completely genetic, then if one identical twin had the condition, the other would always be certain to have it.

That 50% figure, however, does not apply to your children. Rather, it applies only to the risk facing a person whose identical twin has already developed BPD. Of more interest, then, are studies showing heritability when one parent or non-twin sibling (i.e., when one first-degree relative) has BPD.

It is unclear how high that risk is because only a few studies (all with small sample sizes) have been done. Three older studies (1985 and 1988) found that "between 10 and 20 percent of first-degree relatives of people with BPD also have BPD...." See BPD Survival Guide (at p. 42).

A more recent 2011 study, however, estimates the risk at between 28% and 37%. It therefore concludes that "An individual with a first-degree relative showing BPD exhibited a statistically significant 3- to 4-fold increase in risk of BPD compared with an individual without a first-degree relative with BPD." See "Comment" section of BPD Family Study. Whereas the earlier studies had been based on self-reporting by the BPDer patient being treated, this 2011 study was based on interviews of both the BPDer patients and their affected family members.

The NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) reports an even higher figure. It states "BPD is about five times more common among people who have a first-degree relative with the disorder." See NAMI on BPD. Given that the lifetime incidence is 6% for the general population, this estimate would place the risk at 30%.

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If it is a learned thing does that make it easier for them to get help dealing with the symptoms?
There are no studies addressing that question that I've seen. Keep in mind, however, that the damage to BPDers is believed to occur before the age of five -- at which time the child's emotional development is frozen, preventing the child from developing a stable self image and an ability to self regulate emotions.

Hence, if the damage occurs that early, as is believed, the damage is so firmly entrenched in the child's way of thinking that, by the time she tries to manage her symptoms 20 years later in adulthood, it likely doesn't matter whether that damage had been caused by genetics or environment. This, at least, is my view.

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Is it normal for depression to set in when they think that you are getting serious about whats going?
Yes, depression is very common in BPDers. The 2008 study found that 80% of female BPDers suffer at some point from a mood disorder and 36% of female BPDers suffer from Major Depressive Disorder.

Last edited by Uptown; 01-10-2017 at 09:50 PM.
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post #72 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:20 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

Sometimes ultimatums are good. You need help as a couple and she needs help as an individual. If she is not interested in participating I would call that a deal breaker.
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post #73 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

That's the key IF she is willing to see we need to work on these issues together and individually. Once I go to see a psychologist I am hoping they can help point me in the right direction. If she is willing I think she should see her own psychologist though.

It seems like it is important though for it to be of her own free will and not forced into it.

I wish I would have realized some of this stuff especially about the BPD and NPD symptoms years ago. We would either be in a better place now or gone our own ways by now most likely. Now I am learning all this stuff and already at my wits end

At this point my main hope is we can have a happy and peaceful marriage, which is unfortunately not likely given what I am learning, but if we end up getting divorced I will still live a happy life with or without her.
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